Sri Lanka economy grows 7.9% in first quarter: statistics office

June 18, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s economy expanded by a slower 7.9 percent during the first quarter of this year, from the same period a year earlier, dragged down by a fall in farm output, the national statistics office said. The Indian Ocean Island’s economy has quickened at a rapid pace since Sri Lanka's military crushed a nearly four-decade-long revolt by Tamil Tiger separatist rebels in May 2009 that killed tens of thousands of people, according to UN estimates.

Gross domestic product during the three months to March 2011, was 8.0 percent, the Department of Census and Statistics said.

The main industrial sector, which includes textiles and garments, construction and manufacturing, grew 10.8 percent in the first quarter of 2012, slower than 11.1 percent posted in the same quarter a year earlier.

The services sector, which includes tourism, telecommunications, ports and transport, expanded by 5.8 percent in 2012, over 9.5 percent a year earlier.

The agriculture sector grew by 11.5 percent in the quarter, from a contraction of 4.3 percent in the previous quarter of 2011.

Last Friday, the International Monetary Fund said the island’s economy may slow to 6.75 percent this year, slower than 7.2 percent fo

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